Bardi Bill dialogue: Francesco Perrotta-Bosch

The BARDI BILL DIALOG takes place in two ways. One is proven by documentary evidence: Max Bill would not have started contact with Brazil if Pietro Maria Bardi had not invited him to an exhibition at Masp on Rua Sete de Abril. This invitation came by a letter dated June 30, 1949. Dozens of other letters followed until the opening of the exhibition on March 1, 1951. It was the Swiss's first major solo exhibition. As dozens of Bill's paintings, sculptures, and posters were here, the first edition of the São Paulo Biennial reintroduced to the public the Tripartite Unity and awarded it with the Grand Prize for sculpture. The exchange of messages with Professor Bardi continued and, in 1953, Max Bill came to Brazil to make his notorious and controversial conferences. It is due to this sequence of events that the concretism of Waldemar Cordeiro and Luiz Sacilotto with the group Ruptura, of Ivan Serpa and Abraham Palatnik with the group Frente, flourished in this country. 

However, the Bardi Bill dialog also developed into another intellectual dimension: no words, only shapes. In this, Lina Bo Bardi explained her affection for the Swiss whose art and architecture was based on mathematics "in all the resplendentness of its integral poetry." A line could be the matrix of Max's sculptures and the structure of Lina's chairs. In the former's work, torsional planes intersperse the inside and outside; in the architect's furniture, equally complex surfaces function as soft molds to the body. Semispheres here touch the floor finding a delicate balance, whether carved in granite or wood, whether leather seats. It is not just descriptive geometry: Each in its own way, Lina Bo Bardi and Max Bill designed shapes to accurately materialize their ethos. At the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, Bardi and Bill treated humanist reasoning and technical design as complementary. 


Francesco Perrotta-Bosch



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